Sony teams up with YouTuber for new web series
James R | On 25, Nov 2015
Sony Music Entertainment is teaming up with YouTuber Kurt Hugo Schneider to develop a new web series.
YouTubers have become celebrities in their own right among their audience of young fans, amassing the kinds of followings that have launched book deals and international tours, not to mention an entire YouTube subscription service, YouTube Red.
While the site is funding its own original content to support its new SVOD platform, other companies are just as keen to have a piece of the streaming pie. Lionsgate, for example, has invested heavily in feature-length spin-offs for YouTube comedians.
Sony’s partnership with Schneider will be used to showcase the record company’s own artists within the vlogger’s popular community. Indeed, Kurt has gone viral many times with his creatively produced and edited reinterpretations of hits by Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, One Direction and more. One-man a cappella choirs, box editing, and one-take video shoots are the kind of thing you can find on his scarily creative channel – a veritable mix-tape of covers that has generated over 1.3 billion views to date. He’s been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show to boot.
The series, called To the Beat with Kurt Hugo Schneider, will see Sony Music stars performing special versions of their hits in collaboration with Kurt. Each of the 10 episodes will feature both performances and interviews, with the show set to premiere in 2016.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Sony Music on this unique project,” says Kurt Hugo Schneider. “As a producer on YouTube, my goal is to create great content that showcases performers. I’m excited to be working with Sony’s awesome performers.”
The series will be streamed from Kurt’s YouTube channel – more than 6 million subscribers and 40 million monthly views – for free.
It follows a similar endeavour from Sony Music, which bagged a Streamy award nomination for the web series Thank You and Sorry, with Jack Antonoff.